Many of us rightly find dressing for the summer far more difficult than the winter. Not long after we come to appreciate good outerwear and develop a penchant for a multitude of the season’s latest accessories, the concept of warm weather comes to snatch it all away with the hint of heat that Ireland is accustomed to.
Recently attitudes towards men’s summer style have taken on a more positive outlook. This year especially, men have begun to gravitate towards the more minimal style that comes with summer, putting additional emphasis on good colour co-ordination, fit and the little details that let so many men down before.
Here are five tops tips to pep up your summer style.
1. A Good Pair of Shorts
This may seem a rather obvious point, but a good pair of shorts forms the cornerstone of your summer wardrobe. Sadly, many men are misinformed on what constitutes a “good” pair of shorts.
A good pair of shorts is defined by a certain set of characteristics:
They end just above the knee.
They don’t add excess bulk through cargo-like pockets – you want to create a good silhouette.
They should not be too baggy or roomy. Again, it’s all about the shape and silhouette but, on the other hand, you don’t want them too tight.
2. Be Bold
Summer is the perfect time to be braver with our choice of attire as, without the art of layering and a somewhat narrower pool of accessories to choose from, outfits can begin to look a little bland. Throwing in a bright colour or bold print is the perfect way to alleviate this and make up for the possible lack of depth elsewhere.
The go-to shades for this season are yellow and blue.
3. Have a Separate Summer Wardrobe
Obviously it would be a little obscene to suggest you disregard every piece of clothing between seasons, but having a few pieces which you swap is a great way to refresh, reinvigorate and possibly even save some money on your wardrobe.
Top tip: Consider changing your belts between seasons; opting for heavier leather ones in the winter and lighter canvas or plaited leather in the summer. This is a small change but is a great way to feel a little more casual or play around with extra colour. A lighter belt also takes away any bulk, something your less dense fabrics, such as linen, will benefit from.
Swap heavier textures for lighter materials and colours such as khaki or even white so your suit will reflect heat rather than take it in. Alternatively, if going lighter in colour isn’t an option, opt for a lightweight fabric such as linen or cotton to keep yourself cooler while still rocking a navy or grey suit.
Give your brogues a break and bring out the loafers, sandals and canvas. Changing up your footwear will ensure your favourite boots are given time to breath while keeping you cooler with a more appropriate footwear choice.
It’s also a great time to go sockless (or at least appear to with some no-show socks.)
4. Be Fabric Smart
Following on from number three, don’t get caught out in wool, tweed or corduroy when the mercury rises. While that tweed blazer is a superb piece of clothing, it doesn’t look, or smell, so great dripping in sweat. A seersucker or linen alternative would however look just as good and won’t be plagued with an unsavoury odour when the thermometer reaches the late twenties.
Seersucker – A traditionally popular summer fabric, its crinkled and thin construction keeps you cool because the puckered fabric is held away from the skin, allowing air to circulate better.
Linen – Notorious for wrinkling easy, although this is often regarded as part of its charm. Linen is a perfect summer fabric as it is cool, soft and can absorb and lose water exceptionally quick. It’s worth noting that you should not tumble-dry linen, it’s far easier to iron when damp.
Cotton – Cotton is lightweight and comfortable, making it perfect for warmer weather. It is however let down by its retention of moisture; making it an undesirable choice for those very rare all-too-humid days.
Silk – There was a slight trend for silk shirts this spring/summer; despite it not really hitting the heights, silk is a great choice for the season. It is incredibly soft, thin and lightweight – more so than cotton – although it shares the tendency to absorb moisture.
Because nothing ruins a look faster than unflattering sunburned skin that leaves you looking a lot like a crustacean.